Electroneurodiagnostics are clinical tests that monitor and analyze the function of the nervous system. This allows our physicians to diagnose neurological conditions and identify the most effective treatment.
Electroneurodiagnostic tests record electrical activity in the brain, spinal cord and nerve systems throughout the body using a variety of techniques and instruments. Some of the most common electroneurodiagnostic tests used by our physicians and specially trained technologists are:
The EEG measures the electrical activity in the brain – also known as brain waves. This test gives our physicians an idea of the brain’s function and is often used to diagnose a seizure disorder.
During the test, small electrodes are attached to the scalp while the patient relaxes with their eyes closed. For some EEGs, the patient may be required to stay awake the night before testing to help them to sleep during the test. EEGs do not cause any discomfort.
Electromyogram (EMG)/Nerve Conduction Studies (NCS)
An EMG is a test performed by a neurologist, which involves inserting a small needle into muscles to check for nerve damage. There may be some discomfort during this test, typically as a result of the needle. However, there are no after effects other than the possibility of some achiness or a small bruises.
Nerve conduction studies are performed by specially trained technologists, often at the same time as an EMG. A small electrical stimulus is applied to various points along the nerves in the muscles of the arm or leg. This test shows whether or not the nerves are sending their messages correctly and can help diagnose various conditions.
Evoked Potentials (EP)
An EP test, also known as an evoked response, is used to measure the function of sensory pathways in the nervous system. In each test, a nerve is repeatedly stimulated while electrodes measure the body’s tiny electrical responses.
The three major types of EPs are:
- BAER (Brainstem Auditory Evoked Response), which checks a patient’s auditory (hearing) system using repetitive clicking in each ear via headphones.
- VER (Visual Evoked Response), which checks a patient’s optic (vision) pathways by having them watch a checkerboard pattern on a TV screen.
- SSER (Somatosensory Evoked Response), which checks a patient’s sensory system by giving a mild electrical shock to either the wrist or the ankle.